Friday, October 8, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

Recipe adapted from the New Better Homes and Garden Cookbook (the red checkered one)

4 Chicken Breasts
1/4 Cup Canola or Vegetable Oil
2 Medium Onions, sliced in rings 1/4 inch thick
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 14.5 oz cans Tomatoes
8 oz. can Tomato Sauce
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. dried Oregano or Basil (I used basil because I love it)
1/2 tsp. Celery Seed
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 cup Chicken Stock

Brown chicken in skillet with hot oil.  Remove chicken and add the onions and garlic.  Cook until tender but not brown.  Return chicken to the skillet.  Combine tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, basil, celery seed, and bay leaves.  Pour mixture over chicken and onions.  Cover and simmer 30 minutes.  Stir in chicken stock.  Cook uncovered for 15 more minutes.  Remove bay leaves and serve.

I thought this dish would be delightful over Angel Hair Noodles and it was!  This dish made my house smell like I was a professional Italian chef!  Here is what I'd do differently next time:
  • Make sure your meat is completely thawed before trying to brown it.  If it's still slightly frozen it won't brown very well but the water will thaw and just steam the meat and in the end it will over cook and become chewy like mine did. 
  • Try using tenderloins instead of breasts. 
  • Because of the mistake in bullet #1 we ended throwing out the chicken but saving the sauce.  It is a good marinara sauce if you like tomatoes and onions, which I do.
  • Let the onions start to cook and become tender for a minute or two before adding the garlic.  You don't want the garlic to burn and become bitter but you don't want crunchy onions in the end either.
  • Separate the onion rings as you put them in your pan.  Otherwise it is alot harder to do with a spoon and they slide all over the pan.
  • Make sure your stove can keep a simmer on low.  Still learning what my stove personality is and I turned it down and walked away but when I came back to check on it the simmer had gone :(
  • I have a spaghetti squash that I need to use (replacing the noodles) and I think it would go well with this sauce.  Another way to pack in another veggie for kids to try.



We tried this tonight Cal, and we really liked it! I felt like it was right from Olive Garden!

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